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Formation and stability of 14C-containing organic compounds in alkaline iron-water systems: preliminary assessment based on a literature survey and thermodynamic modelling

  • E. Wieland (a1) and W. Hummel (a1)

Abstract

Carbon-14 is an important radionuclide in the inventory of radioactive waste and is considered to be a key radionuclide in performance assessment. In Switzerland, the 14C inventory in a cement-based repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste is mainly associated with activated steel (∼85%). Anaerobic corrosion of the activated steel will determine the time-dependent release of 14C-bearing compounds from the cementitious near field into the host rock. The present study was carried out to provide an overview on the current state of the art knowledge regarding the carbon speciation during the anaerobic corrosion of activated and non-activated iron/steel and to critically assess the capability of thermodynamic modelling to predict 14C speciation in anoxic alkaline conditions. Previous experimental work showed the presence of oxidized and reduced hydrocarbons during corrosion in iron-water systems in anoxic (near neutral to alkaline) conditions which appears to be inconsistent with the negative redox potential of the system. The capability of thermodynamic modelling to predict the carbon speciation in these conditions was found to be limited due to uncertainties associated with the concept of metastability in the C–H–O system.

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Copyright

Copyright © The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2015. This is an open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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References

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Formation and stability of 14C-containing organic compounds in alkaline iron-water systems: preliminary assessment based on a literature survey and thermodynamic modelling

  • E. Wieland (a1) and W. Hummel (a1)

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